Enduring Promises for Enduring Saints
The Christian life is not an easy life, it is war on a daily basis. The Christian has enemies within and enemies without who neither sleep nor slumber. The flesh from within, and the world and the Devil from without, are constantly waring to knock out the saints! What hope is there for us? What keeps us going? If you have been a Christian long enough, you are familiar with the many failures that you have encountered on this straight and narrow path. We all have had a fair share of such. Perhaps even now, our hearts are not as warmed with affections for Christ as they should, our minds are not as stayed on Christ as they should, our eyes are wandering to and fro unsatisfied with the glorious view of the resurrected Christ on whose face is the glory of God. We have been blinded by “the light things of this world, the temporal and passing” and are not beholding the “eternal, weighty things” that are of God and are from above. Are you at such a place today? You are not alone!
The Deceitfulness of Sin
Sin is exceedingly deceitful. We constantly need to be reminded of this reality because it is the immediate enemy that is in us and works in us to will and to do its pleasures. Paul reminds us of its presence, warns us against it and calls us to wage war! Romans 8:13, “For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body you will live.” The author of Hebrews reminds us the same (Hebrews 3:12-15), Sin deceitfully hardens us! If we are not aware of this reality, we will never fully appreciate the provision that has been made for us by God the Father, in the person and work of Jesus Christ, which is being applied to us by the Holy Spirit. Sin deceives us by drawing us away from trusting in the promises of God, it draws us away from believing God to trusting in self or something else other than God. The first man Adam was deceived into trusting in self rather than in God’s promise of life. The people of God throughout the Old Testament faced the constant temptation to trust in other nations and not in God (Hebrews 3:16-19). As it has been said and proven time and again, sin always promises us what it can never deliver. It promises joy but only brings grief, it promises comfort but only brings chaos. It promises life, but only brings about death! Sin never gives us what it promises us. In fact, every grief and chaos in our lives is as a result of sin. One way or another, we all partake of the direct or indirect effects of sin.
Christ our only hope of glory
For this reason, we need Jesus more than we think we do. Christ came to decisively deal with sin! Immediately after the fall, God offers man a ray of hope in the promised offspring who would crush the serpent’s head! It was none other than Christ (Genesis 3:15). Christ is the promise of the Old Testament, and the fulfillment in the New Testament. Every promise towards salvation is fulfilled in the person and work of Christ, indeed, he is the only hope of glory. Those of us who are believers have come to share in Christ (Hebrews 3:14). Christ Jesus is not only the embodiment, but also the fulfillment of past promises, present promises and future promises of God. Every single promise of God is fulfilled in the person and work of Christ. In Him we have the assurance and full confidence of the fulfillment of every single promise God has made to us as His people. This is the sure and steadfast anchor of the soul (Hebrews 6:19), that in Christ, God accomplishes all of his promises toward his people.
Holding Fast to the Promises of God
How then do enduring saints endure to the very end on the straight and narrow path? It is by holding fast to the promises of God, which in other words is, holding fast to Christ. The author of Hebrews repeatedly exhorts us towards this: that we hold fast our confidence, our confession, our hope, and it is none other than Christ himself, that is, his person and works (Hebrews 3:6,14; 4:14; 6:18; 10:23). Our confidence is in the atoning work of Christ: in his death and resurrection all of our sins have been fully paid for, and we have been fully reconciled to God the Father. Our confession is that “I am a great sinner, and Christ is my great Savior! I am his by grace through faith, and he is mine.” Our hope is in the future glory that is yet to be revealed, which he promised us, that when he comes, we will be like him, for we shall see him just as he is. The secret to perseverance is our holding fast to Christ. Christ promises us eternal joy, eternal comfort, and eternal life and he delivers it! Before he ascended into heaven, he promised his disciples a helper who would bring to their remembrance the person and work of Christ. Thus, it is the Holy Spirit who not only reminds us, but also constantly reassures us of God’s promises.
It is so comforting to know that my salvation is entirely dependent on the promises of God. Just as every promise is guaranteed so is my salvation! Dear saint, let us hold fast to God’s promises, let us hold fast to Christ.
Grace and peace.